105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: The Poetry of Sarah Palin

MotherReader’s off at the beach with the girls for a few days, leaving me — FatherReader — to hold down the fort. Normally, we wouldn’t make a special effort to post in her absence, but this week saw a poetry event that we couldn’t let pass by unheralded (though I fully suspect that others will highlight the same “poem”).

Were you left thinking that Sarah Palin’s farewell speech was a bizarre, rambling, incoherent mess? Far from it! Those with abilities sufficient to grasp Palin’s true depth as a communicator would instantly point out that it was poetry! And to make sure that’s eminently clear, we bring you, straight from The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, master thespian William Shatner reading Sarah Palin’s farewell speech. Enjoy!

Of course, that’s not the end of it. As Sarah Palin has been posting regularly on her Twitter account, there’s a whole new wealth of material — material that O’Brien and Shatner are only too happy to highlight:

This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is over at Poetry for Children. Be sure to check it out — and check back here soon for MotherReader’s triumphant return.

Lunch Lady Debut

There is something special about witnessing the start of a series. I remember when the KidLitosphere was tickled pink with the first Babymouse book. Now the eleventh book, Babymouse: Dragonslayer, is coming this August. And it seems like just yesterday that I was standing all alone at the ALA signing of Jeff Kinney, and now his fourth book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, comes out in October — and a Wimpy Kid movie is currently in production.

Oh, they grow up so fast.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg SubstituteSo here I am today, happy to see the beginning of a new series by Jarrett Krosoczka. Already well known for his wonderful picture books and creative videos (which I can no longer find, unfortunately), the multitalented author has written a set of fun graphic novels for kids. Apparently not one to do anything halfway, Krosoczka today debuts both Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute and the second book in the series, Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians.

Lunch Lady and the League of LibrariansThe series follows a school cafeteria worker who fights crime with help from her gadget-making sidekick Betty. In the first title, her secret identity is discovered by three kids — the Breakfast Bunch — who promise to have more active roles in the coming books. The layout is similar to that of Babymouse, but with yellow instead of pink — a relief to boys everywhere. With a variety of silly, food-themed gadgets and a large serving of humor, readers will leave wanting second helpings.

The third book, Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta, will be released in December, and Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown is scheduled for Spring 2010. Also, a film adaptation is already in the works.

Oh, they grow up so fast.

BlogHer09 vs. KidlitCon

I admit being a bit curious about BlogHer09, wondering if I could find some useful information for my blog and for the book blogging community. Not having a track there — as far as I know — I would have probably thrown my lot in with the mommy bloggers. I mean, I’m a mom and I write a blog. Seems like a natural fit.

As it turns out, I would have found myself at sessions where one person in the audience thought writing pay-for-post reviews was wrong. And that would have been scary. Marketing Mommy also notes of that session:
The women in the room were afraid to post negative reviews. Even posting constructive criticism was avoided. They were terrified of pissing off the PR folks and stopping the flow of goodies. And besides, writing a product review or hosting a giveaway was hard work. They deserved to be compensated for their work on behalf of brands. An interesting argument, but if you’re turning yourself into a freelance copywriter, isn’t it a little unfair to your readers to post as just another regular, trustworthy mom? I am an advertising copywriter, but I’d never recommend shampoo to a friend without mentioning I work on the account.
Yikes. See, when I wrote about increased scrutiny for bloggers it wasn’t because I think getting a review copy is wrong, or will even be questioned. It’s because without an awareness of one’s self and blog and community, there can be a slippery slope to commercialization, entitlement, and exploitation. What’s going on in the mommy blog community concerns me, not because it’s a direct correlation but because it’s a warning. I’ve been following Notes from the Trenches for years because I like her writing and her perspective. Her thoughts:
I didn’t come home with bags and bags of swag. Not that I wouldn’t have liked a couple of the things that were being given away. But there was no way that I was going to associate myself with people who had such a feeling of entitlement and complete disregard for other people, not to mention behaving in a completely unprofessional manner. A little tip here… if you want to be treated as a professional, you have to behave like one. I didn’t go there with the intention of getting free stuff. I went to sit in on panels, to maybe learn a few things, to catch up with old friends, to become re-inspired to hone my writing skills and be a better writer.
Let’s reflect on that last part. Here, I’ll make it easy for you:
I went to sit in on panels, to maybe learn a few things, to catch up with old friends, to become re-inspired to hone my writing skills and be a better writer.
KidLitCon 2009 - Washington DCToo bad that she isn’t a KidLit/YA blogger, because that is exactly what we’re offering at the KidLitosphere Conference. I’ve gone twice, and each time was amazing. Not because of star power — though finding Eric Kimmel in the audience was pretty cool — but because of building our skills. Not because of swag — though I brought home a few books — but because of inspiration. Not because of parties — though I had a nice time at the bar — but because of connections with the people in our community.

The session are not firm yet, but will include such things as getting to the heart of your blogging mission; building your blog a bit better; writing better book reviews; revealing yourself online; engaging in social media; navigating the nuances of publisher/author/blogger relationships; giving back to the community and literacy causes. The breakfast on Saturday morning and the dinner Saturday night are wonderful opportunities to meet the people you’ve only known online. There will be optional outings for Friday and Sunday, along with the many unscheduled meetings among friends.

You’ll be seeing more about the conference in the coming days and weeks, including the actual registration form. Some of the sessions still need leaders/speakers/panelists, so please contact me if you are interested in taking on one of those roles. You can, however, already book the hotel room for an incredible rate of $109 a night. With the registration fee itself coming in at around $100 — including breakfast and dinner on Saturday — the price for learning, community, collaboration, and friendship can’t be beat.

Poetry Friday: “I, Too”

How great that Young Adult Literature is being featured on Boing Boing. What a shame that it’s for Bloomsbury whitewashing the cover of Liar.

LiarIn Liar, the main character is black with short, “nappy” hair. The cover shows a white girl with long brown hair. It’s striking, but wrong. Though other options were presented, Bloomsbury prefers to use photos on their book — but apparently not of an African American. Author Justine Larbalestier wrote an amazingly honest and brave post about the cover, saying that she argued for a different representation but ultimately had no say in the decision. She’s heartbroken that the reader’s interpretation of the book is being affected, as Micah is a compulsive liar, and the cover is making it seem like even her self-identity is in question. The publishers gladly embraced that notion in Publishers Weekly. The problem with that interpretation is that it makes the book almost unreadable if we can’t hold onto anything as truth in the story. I know about the unreliable narrator concept, but the idea that every aspect of the book is subject to question is taking the idea too far. And wasn’t at all what the author intended.

I’ve read the book. The first time, I’ll admit that I didn’t think about the cover at all, and I enjoyed the story immensely. It’s an interesting and thought-provoking book that challenges the reader to interpret reality. I talked about the book with someone who wondered if the cover represented the character lying about her appearance — meaning that everything in the book could be a lie. So I read it again with that in mind and could barely get through it trying to find some solid ground to believe in.

My point here is that they messed with the wrong book, because the whitewashed cover is changing the interpretation of the story, and that’s a problem. It looks like they’ve also messed with the wrong author, give her strength. And one can hope that they’ve messed with the wrong community of authors, bloggers, librarians, and readers who can argue for racial equality on our book covers.

With today being Poetry Friday, let me share a very appropriate poem by Langston Hughes:
I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
‘Eat in the kitchen,’

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed —

I, too, am America.
A Year of Reading is hosting Poetry Friday. Chasing Ray is collecting blog posts about Liar.

Booklights, Zoos, and Conferences

Today at Booklights I’m suggesting three picture books about the zoo. Two are new this summer and one is an old favorite. In this case I’m using the word old in publishing terms or blog life terms — that is to say more than two years.

I get the impression that zoos are a summer thing related to vacation and travel. We’re spoiled, living near the National Zoo, so we prefer weekend visits in the fall when it’s cooler and all of you tourists go home. Plus the National Zoo is free, so it doesn’t have the feel of an excursion where you shell out a hundred bucks so that everyone can have some fun because we’re ON VACATION DAMMIT!

KidLitCon 2009 - Washington DCActually, you know when we would be an ideal time to visit the National Zoo? The weekend of October 17th. Think about it. You could pay money to go to another zoo or museum in your area. Or you could spend that same money on a hotel room and the spouse can take the kids to the zoo for free while you meet some of your favorite blogging folks in person at the KidLitosphere Conference. That sounds like a plan, right?

Dick in a Book

In news that did not take the KidLit/YA community by storm, Dick Cheney is writing his memoirs. In late June, the Associated Press carried the story of Cheney’s $2 million-ish deal with Theshold Editions, a conservative subsidiary of Simon and Schuster. It included this great quote at the end:
“He knows he’s called Darth Vader,” said Simon & Schuster’s Carolyn Reidy. “He’s aware of how he’s been portrayed. But I didn’t feel any defensiveness when I met with him.”
Now you finish the quote:
  1. “Of course, I was wearing a necklace of garlic, holding a cross, and carrying a gun with one silver bullet just in case.”

  2. “I did, however, feel like I’d never be happy again, as if every good feeling and memory were being sucked out of me leaving me with nothing but my worst experiences.”

  3. “I will say that I’m glad I had Febreze, because it was extremely helpful against the lingering stench of evil.”

  4. “And after he left, I had the strangest sense of a cleaner mind as if it had been washed in some way. He’s a powerful man who is right in every opinion he holds.”
Now I’m just the opening act, warming you up for the funniest article I’ve read in recent times, as Gene Weingarten discusses his attempts to research the Cheney book deal. When he contacted the publisher, he was asked if he was “pro-book” and to pre-submit his questions. He decided to do so with his column in The Washington Post Magazine. It is well worth a read if you dislike Cheney and like laughing. All the questions cracked me up, but I’ll share Question Three:
May I presume that Mr. Cheney will be remunerated in his customary way: a gunnysack filled with unblemished human heads?
The Washington Post also invited readers to submit possible opening paragraphs for the memoirs, resulting in wonderful selections like:
Words can hurt every bit as much as physical abuse. I should know. Throughout my vice presidency I was painted by opponents as a warmonger who controlled the President’s every move. They said that I usurped power from Congress, lied to the public about the threat from Iraq, gleefully greenlighted torture of suspected terrorists, and trampled on the Constitution. Yes, I bear the scars of many malicious words. The purpose of this memoir is to set the record straight: In fact, I have the heart of a liberal. It’s in a jar on my desk.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

First of all, thanks for viewing my daughter’s solo performance, and for the sweet comments. I was so moved by her singing, so crazy-proud, that I needed to share it with my people. I appreciate your indulgence. (If you haven’t seen it, then perhaps you missed my blog post, Facebook status, Twitter update, and email blitz — in which case, I feel like I don’t even know you anymore.)

Book Blogger Appreciation WeekMoving on from appreciating my daughter to appreciating ourselves, Book Blogger Appreciation Week takes place from September 14th through the 18th, but the preparation starts now. There are three main — and easy — ways to participate as a KidLit/YA blogger.

First, register your blog in the Book Bloggers Appreciation Week Directory. Right now, there aren’t a lot of blog listings within children and Young Adult literature — and that needs to change. The database itself is maintained by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy, and the information is not sold to any organizations, persons, or companies. It also may take some time for your blog to show up, as I know I registered and my blog isn’t listed yet.

Second, nominate favorite KidLitosphere blogs for awards. Of course, you can nominate other non-KidLit/YA blogs, since there are plenty of categories in which to do so, but my point here is that the KidLitosphere needs to REPRESENT! (I don’t know, should that in all caps? Maybe divided with periods? Re. Pre. Sent. No, that doesn’t seem right. Is there an urban-vibe font I can use?) While there are specific categories for KidLit and YA reviewers, there are also tons of other categories in which our community can shine — including Best Design, Best Blog Name, Best Collaborative Blog and many more. Look over your blogroll or Google Reader, turn on your thinking cap (all the way to eleven), and make some nominations.

Third, talk and post and tweet (#BBAW) so we can get our community involved and, ahem, remind each other to register, nominate, and participate. (Don’t make me try to convey the “represent” thing again, because I’ll do it.)

For more information, questions, or suggestions — say, listing Best Featured Video — visit the BBAW website. (Actually, tongue-in-cheek plug aside, Best Featured Literature-Related Video would be a great category.)

Proud Mother Presents...

I rarely even show my kids’ pictures on this blog, but I couldn’t resist sharing this video of my ten year old singing a solo in her school summer theatre program. I know I’m her mom, but her voice is truly amazing. I’ve watched this several times, and I keep getting choked up over her performance. Please watch so I can share this with you, my friends.

An Unofficial List of Great YA By or About Women of Color

I saw this at Archimedes Forgets and thought that it was well worth promoting (and an easy post to write). The list comes from Color Online. X means read, # means on the TBR list, and ! means loved.

Susan’s Unofficial List of Great YA By or About Women of Color:
  1. When Kambia Elaine Flew In From Neptune, by Lori A. Williams (X)
  2. Every Time A Rainbow Dies, by Rita Williams-Garcia
  3. No Laughter Here, by Rita Williams-Garcia (X)
  4. Jumped, by Rita Williams-Garcia
  5. If You Come Softly, by Jacqueline Woodson
  6. The House You Pass On The Way, by Jacqueline Woodson
  7. Flygirl, by Sherri L. Smith (#)
  8. From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun, by Jacqueline Woodson
  9. Sold, by Patricia McCormick (X)
  10. A Step From Heaven, by An Na (!)
  11. The Parable of The Sower, by Octavia E. Butler
  12. Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  13. Persepolis, by Majane Satrapi
  14. The Rock and The River, by Kekla Magoon
  15. Secret Keeper, by Mitali Perkins (!)
  16. Mare’s War, by Tanita S. Davis (#)
  17. A Wish After Midnight, by Zetta Elliott
  18. Down To The Bone, by Mayra Lazara Dole
  19. Don’t Get It Twisted, by Paula Chase
  20. Jason & Kyra, by Dana Davidson
  21. Forged by Fire, by Sharon Draper (X)
  22. Kendra, by Coe Booth (#)
  23. Shine, Coconut Moon, by Neesha Meminger
  24. Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (X)
  25. Born Confused, by Tanuja Desai Hidier (!)
  26. Skunk Girl, by Sheba Karim
  27. The Meaning of Conseulo, by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  28. In The Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez (X)
  29. Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
  30. First Part Last, by Angela Johnson (X)
  31. Pemba’s Song, by Marilyn Nelson
  32. Wanting Mor, by Rukhsana Khan
  33. M + O 4EVR, by Tonya Hegamin
  34. Lucy The Giant, by Sherri L. Smith (X)
  35. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros (X)
  36. Throwaway Piece, by Jo Ann Hernandez
  37. White Bread Competition, by Jo Ann Hernandez
  38. Across A Hundred Mountains, by Reyna Grande
  39. Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon
  40. The Skin I’m In, by Sharon G. Flake (!)
I think I need to do some more reading. I also think that there are some great books missing from the list, but I can’t remember what they are — and it’s too late at night to go to the library and skim the Young Adult section for clues.

Fun on the Run and Booklights Post

Today at Booklights I’m talking about books for car trips, and I welcome you to add your own suggestions. Have an exciting audiobook that kept you engaged (or more importantly, kept the kids engaged) for a long drive? Know a great book of games for the road? Head over and lend your knowledge to weary parent travelers.

Fun on the RunFor your bonus book here at MotherReader, I’ll mention Fun on the Run: Travel Games and Songs, by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson. Filled with all those games we needed to know before the age of portable DVD players and Nintendo DS, this title can give you the ideas to make a long car trip seem just a little bit shorter. With something for everyone, the book includes wordplay games, license plate races, and silly stories. There are even a few songs — though not the really cool ones like the Jonas Brothers sing.

Conference Envy

I know, I went to Book Expo America and it was super fun. I met cool people, got great books, and hung out with friends. I have nothing to complain about, nothing to be jealous about... oh but I am! I am green with envy about all those blogging buddies who went to the American Library Association conference.

I may also be a little green around the gills from a low-grade stomach bug, but that’s another story.

Anyway, I was following Abby’s excitement on Twitter, which was a little like being at the conference and a little like listening in on a great phone call. She summed it up nicely with a similar feeling of glee. My favorite description was that after getting the ARC of Catching Fire, the “day was pretty much made already, and everything else was gravy. (If gravy was made of AWESOME, that is!)”

Following Liz on Twitter gave me more of the sense that the conference was work. Not that I don’t know that the Lizgirl can party like a rock star, but someone needed to remind me of the professional development side. Today Liz discusses in depth the issues surrounding Modernizing Selected List Portfolio, a.k.a. “Best Books for Young Adults List Is Like So Last Year.”

Travis took me on a journey through Part One, which included a sighting of the actual new Mo Willems book — and then hit me with Part Two, which included a report of chatting with Judy Blume at the Newbery Dinner. I hate Travis. (Kidding.)

There were so many posts from Betsy Bird that I gave up evaluating them on the basis of which made me most wish to be her. The Caldecott music video? The Kennedy vs. Gaiman Newbery Rumble videos? Oh, I know, the I-Wish-I-Could-Wear-That-Dress photo series.

But the one who puts me over the top in my green-with-envyness is Susan at Booklights, who describes talking to Neil Gaiman at length because she didn’t realize how totally MegaStar he is. And then there are all the photos of her with these amazing people — including Mr. Gaiman. Lady, you rule.

I am hoping to hear more about the book blogging session, which featured the interesting and amusing John Green. If you have some info from that session — particularly what discussion there may have been on blogs in children’s and teen literature — please write up a post. Or lend a few sentences here in the comments. Or both.

Important News for Bloggers

Three articles in three days have made me think that bloggers may be in the middle of the next big issue, and I want us to be prepared. First, from PBS MediaShift, an article entitled “Some Bloggers Welcome FTC Scrutiny for Paid Reviews”:
When it was reported in 2006 that the FTC would begin forcing word-of-mouth companies — which paid people to hype products to their peers — to disclose their marketing campaigns, Brian Clark predicted at the time that these rules would apply to bloggers as well. Now it looks like his prediction is coming true — and bloggers are taking the news in stride... So when the AP reported recently that the FTC would begin enforcing disclosure rules on bloggers that were paid to review products, received free products or used affiliate links, Clark wasn’t surprised.
Then The Washington Post came out with an article focused on Amazon reviewers, but with some related implications:
More commonly, reviewers at the top of Amazon’s charts say they regularly hear from publishers and wannabe authors hoping for a positive word; some prolific or influential reviewers have personal Web sites detailing the books they’re interested in receiving from publishers.
And today a New York Times article has me making changes to the way I’ll be doing what I do online:
The proliferation of paid sponsorships online has not been without controversy. Some in the online world deride the actions as kickbacks. Others also question the legitimacy of bloggers’ opinions, even when the commercial relationships are clearly outlined to readers.

And the Federal Trade Commission is taking a hard look at such practices and may soon require online media to comply with disclosure rules under its truth-in-advertising guidelines.
What will this mean for book bloggers? Perhaps nothing, as the focus seems to be to address the bloggers that are literally being paid per post (in cash or in product) to promote goods and services. There is also a lot of scrutiny in the area of expensive gifts and trips and tech products given to review for wide-reaching blogs. Book blogs are likely to stay under the radar because we’re not pulling in the numbers of readers and because there is a longstanding tradition of books being sent out for review in newspapers and journals.

However, I do think that it is an ideal time to step back and look at what we are doing. Is there a difference between a book offered for a review and books given by the publisher for contests? If a publisher offers a book and we all end up reviewing it — think The Chosen One — are we serving less as reviewers and more as an unpaid marketing machine? If a book blogger is offered a product for a group to review, does that change the dynamics of the relationship? Is there a difference between a book sent by the author and one sent by the publisher? And in all of these instances, what sort of disclosure is appropriate?

These are tough questions which will be part of a session at the KidLitosphere Conference. Many bloggers already identify in reviews which books they received from the publisher or author. I haven’t done that consistently, but I will now. Many bloggers make it clear that they are Amazon Associates, earning a small percentage of referral fees from Amazon. I have mentioned it on my blog, but I now plan to make it much clearer. I generally don’t participate in book giveaways or contests, but if I do, I’ll make sure that I am clearer about the source of the prizes. My notable exception is the 48 Hour Book Challenge, where I make it clear that the prizes are donations from authors and bloggers, or collected by me.

I’d urge you to read the articles, look at what you’re doing, and think what changes you might make. And of course, let’s talk about this — because that’s what we do.

Poetry Friday: “Maggie and Milly and Molly and May”

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

— e.e. cummings
I’m headed back to the beach today to pick up the daughter I left behind. No, not accidentally. She wanted to stay and help my mom babysit my niece this week. So now I get a bonus trip to the ocean and an extra seven hours on the highway.

It will be good to have her back home. As we were deciding if she should stay — a rather last-minute proposition — we all realized that she’s our best friend. Seriously. She watches movies with her dad. She plays computer games and just plays with her sister. She and I talk and laugh about all sorts of things. How wonderful to have our best friends in our own family.

Today’s Poetry Friday round-up is over at Jama Rattigan’s pad. Stop by and share some verses.

Alligator vs. Crocodile and Other Nonfiction

Today I am talking about some great nonfiction animal books over at Booklights, and I had one extra that didn’t fit the criterion of featuring excellent photography, though it is an interesting book. You get it as a bonus gift just for reading MotherReader.

Alligator vs. CrocodileAlligator vs. Crocodile: Animals Head to Head, by Isabel Thomas

The Animals Head to Head series takes two “vicious” animals and compares them in terms of which would win a fight. Chapters compare their size/strength, body armor, speed, endurance, attack strategy, and more. Each animal gets a score for each feature and then an overall score at the end. Pitting alligator against crocodile was particularly interesting because they are so similar that the direct comparison was helpful in understanding each reptile better. The series also gives us Elephant vs. Rhinoceros, Lion vs. Tiger, Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear, Scorpion vs. Tarantula, Shark vs. Killer Whale, and Cheney vs. Limbaugh.

Okay, I may have made up the last one.

Back from the Beach with Gratitude

Ahhhhhhhh. So much better now. How couldn’t I be when this is my beach? Though that picture was taken Thursday morning, and not on the actual holiday weekend, it’s still pretty rare to get a beachfront as quiet as that in the summer, no? We always go to a beach separate from the downtown strip, and because parking is so limited, we don’t have a lot of company. Except for the dolphins, who love to troll along the shoreline just out of swimming reach. I know, I’m rubbing it in.

I swam in the ocean, flipped through magazines, and played with my three-year-old niece. I went to the aquarium, saw the fireworks, and ate at IHOP. I watched DVDs, took naps, and ate doughnuts. I bought a new bathing suit that I like, and the experience wasn’t even that painful.

I didn’t read a book while on vacation, though the ridiculously long return drive gave me the chance to read two of them. I didn’t spend any time worrying, or for that matter thinking too much at all. I read email via Bill’s iPhone, but didn’t try to write back with my terrible texting skills.

But now I can respond by telling you how much those comments and emails meant to me. Your supportive words and sympathetic sentiments gave me strength and energy from this community that I love.

The first night back in my home, my head felt clearer than it has in a while. The suggestions for conference sessions began to gel, including a fresh new idea of my own. I put out some thoughts to the listserv. I updated the page on KidLitosphere Central. I wrote to some contacts.

Unfortunately, I chose to get inspired as everyone is either on vacation for the holiday week or heading to the ALA conference. Bad timing. But you’ll be hearing more about the KidLitosphere Conference in the next few weeks, and I hope you make plans to attend. I mean, c’mon — the registration fee is low, the hotel rate is good, Washington, DC, is lovely, and the company is amazing. You can’t go wrong.